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tv   BBC World News  WHUT  March 10, 2011 7:00am-7:30am EST

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>> this is "bbc world news." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank.
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>> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> bloodstains and people screaming in agony. a bbc arabic team held by government forces in libya gave graphic accounts of their ordeal. meanwhile, the battle on the ground continues. colonel gaddafi at's forces claim the upper hand. -- colonel gaddafi's forces claim the upper hand. welcome to "gmt." a world of news and opinion. also in the program -- tibet's spiritual leader, the dalai lama, says he is stepping down from politics.
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the locals are taking over. we look at how afghanistan is dealing with the transition from foreign forces. welcome. it is midday here in london, 6:00 p.m. in delhi and 2:00 p.m. in libya, where there are reports of further air strikes east of the oil town ras lanuf. of the latest in a series of attacks on rebel positions in the area and follows heavy fighting in zawiya. there, government forces claimed they claimed control from the rebels. bbc reporters were subjected to in beatings and mock executions and saw other prisoners would visit -- visible signs of abuse. >> artillery bombardment by libyan forces against rebels
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defending the port of ras lanuf. the ebb and flow of battle has been raging for some days. the shells, war planes. but up against the hardware of the libyan army, this bill- trained force has not yet buckled. >> gaddafi fights with airplanes. big weapons. we don't have anything. we need help. >> while this eastern front holds for the moment, there are reports that zawiya to the west has now fallen to government forces. these pictures from the center of zawiya almost two weeks ago showed that strength of feeling against colonel gaddafi. now there are reports that the buildings have been flattened by tank shells and there is much fighting. it is far from clear who is controlled.
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the town, only 30 miles from tripoli, is ringed by checkpoints. foreign journalists are not let in. on monday, a team from bbc arabic was stopped and held. over 21 hours they were beaten and subject to mock executions and saw other prisoners treated appallingly. >> i can't describe how bad it was. most of them were hooded and handcuffed tightly. broken ribs. they were in agony. they were screaming. >> four were in it a bad situation. the torture of appeared in their faces. >> they were tortured? >> yes, sure. >> libyan tv has been showing old reruns of military parades. the bbc account underlies -- underlines of the nature of this regime. the wounded are filling the hospitals.
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this is the eastern city of benghazi. the international committee of the red cross says libya it is now in a state of civil war. bbc news. >> the british and brazilian journalists are still missing in the town of zawiya. "the guardian" says one of its reporters and a colleague has not been heard of since sunday. it has unconfirmed information he has been placed under arrest. international pressure on the libyan government's to stop attacks -- on the libyan government to stop attacks have gained momentum. meetings in brussels, making plans for a no-fly zone if the u.n. were to request one. separately, russia will ban all weapons sales to libya. it is a blow to the libyan regime as russia was one of its
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main weapons providers. still, russia, which has the power of the veto at the security council says it remains opposed to a no-fly zone. let's get more on the international strategy. we are joined from russia from a guest from the minds -- moscow state institute of international relationships. and from washington, we have a senior south -- fellow from the center for american progress. how big of a fight the u.s. is preparing for to get a no-fly zone? >> i think the united states position is that it would not do it without getting a u.n. and nato approval. i did not think it really wants to, but it does not want to take the option of the table because there is hope that just the prospect will get colonel gaddafi will stop some of the horrible things he is doing. >> listening to that, americans
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are not prepared to go against international opinion, but russia has made clear it will veto if it comes to it at the u.n. >> i haven't heard an explicit statement to that effect that russia will veto anything at the u.n., and it doesn't seem to me that russia is now in a position to take drastic decisions. there needs to be a consensus within the parties, within the countries and between the countries, considering and a no- fly zone or other options. once they have taken their decisions and have come to the security council, then i think russia will have to voice its opinion clearly. so far i do not think there has been any clear sign from the russian side whether it will veto anything or not. >> then it seems russia is moving towards a more international way of thinking, particularly with this latest ban on weapons sales. >> yes, i do think so.
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it seems as if russia has been willing to coordinate with western powers, the strategy vis a vis the libyans of birth -- situation. it has been a departure from its previous stance. i think talks have been under way for the last days or weeks. >> lawrence, do you think a no- fly zone would be a good idea? >> no, i don't think so. first of all, you can't just have a no-fly zone. the first thing you are going to have to do is go in and take out all of the surface to air missile sites that you have there, mobile sites. it would basically be an act of war. there could be collateral damage as you try to do that. it would not stop the helicopters, which could cause much more damage, nor would it stop the artillery. as the united states has found
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out in its previous history going back to vietnam and afghanistan and iraq, once you get involved, you basically become deeply involved and then you have responsibility for nation-building. >> how much of the involvement that the u.s. -- the part the u.s. is playing now, how much does it have to do with lydia's oil production? producer but it is still significant to the u.s. no talk of the embargo. >> if there was no oil, the united states and other countries would not be that concerned about that part of the world. that is very, very important. on the other hand, the united states does not have as much interest in libya as other countries. we did not get much of our oil from there, but it is fungible so it will obviously affect the
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world markets with libya's supply being cut off. i want to emphasize, however controls libya will eventually have to sell the oil and it is not strategic interest to the united states whether colonel gaddafi or some of the rebels -- of whom we know very little, we did not know if they will act any differently. >> russia is a number one producer. there is a different relationship and concern when it comes to libya compared to the united states. >> i do think russia benefits somewhat from increased oil prices. but at the same time, i guess several russian officials have raised the issue that an oil price that is too high beyond all limits is not in russia's national interests. i think russia has no clear
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stake in libyan oil industry and possibly not interested from and will perspective in events in libya taking a very bad and prolonged bad turn. >> obviously, we will keep a close eye on events. thank you very much, and gentlemen. from the moscow institute of international relations and from the center for american progress. time now to take a look at some of the other stories making headlines around the world. the yemeni president promised a series of political reforms following weeks of protests against his 32-year rule. he pledged to put a new constitution to a referendum and move to a parliamentary system of government. but a yemen opposition spokesman says the offer comes to lake and does not meet the protesters' demand -- comes to late. 150 injured in an earthquake in southwest china.
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it struck about midday. buildings have collapsed and people are feared buried under the debris. and man recovering in hospital after being attacked by a crocodile in australia. he was out fishing when the crocs snapped at his hand and grabbed its leg. the man managed to escape after a friend beat off the clock about. both of the victims legs were broken. tibet's exiled spiritual leader the dalai lama is giving up politics. he will begin the formal process of stepping down at a meeting in northern india. he says the move would be to the long term benefit of tibetans and not that the feels this heartens or wants to shirk responsibility. >> for more than half a century, tibetans and around the world have looked up to the dalai
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lama. he has been their political and spiritual guide. now he has decided to step aside. addressing this gathering at his headquarters, he said it was time for them to pick his political successor. >> since the 1960's, i repeatedly stressed that tibetans need a leader elected freely by the tibetan people. now we have clearly -- the time to make this happen. during the next parliament, i will formally propose the necessary amendments to be made to the charter for tibetans in exile. >> over the years the dalai lama helped push the calls for a free tibet. focusing attention on chinese repression in his homeland.
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not surprisingly, the reaction in beijing to the announcement was businesses. -- businesses -- dismissive. >> we think these are tricks against the international community. >> some see this as a way of making way to a new and younger leadership which may be more aggressive before pushing for independence. there are fears it could lead to a split in the community. the dalai lama is still deeply revered figure in the tibetan community and people are still coming to terms with the fact that he may no longer be around to guide their destiny. for now all eyes are on next week's parliamentary session and the election of the new leader. >> whatever it is, they have their work cut out for them. >> still to come -- we will be talking live to our libya desk to get the latest on the country's uprising.
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cause of low unilaterally broke away from serbia three years ago kosovo unilaterally broke away from serbia three years ago. belgrade and authorities are discussing day-to-day issues to break the stalemate. >> the handshake alone was symbolic. after three years of frozen conflict, this was the first time that serbia and kosovo dates to face-to-face talks. led by the european union, the carrot of closer to your -- european union membership may cause parties to give ground. on the initial agenda, finding solutions to day-to-day problems, said that the fact that kosovo registered cars cannot currently enter serbian territory that they will start around the core issue of independence. serbia says kosovo is still its
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own province but for kosovo the independence of non-negotiable. >> we are building the bridge. i can tell you they're great proposals for both sides and we will continue working with them and implementation when the time comes. but what i need to say now is there are some topics in which we are getting closer, much more than some others. >> here we are -- of course, try, perhaps, to try to address and resolve practical issues which might help improve the life of citizens. the advance our agenda to european union. >> so, they left. boyd by a seemingly fruitful first rounds. a seemingly significant moment for both sides. resolving one of europe's most intractable conflicts will be a long and arduous process. but success in the dialogue could help serbia and kosovo leave the troubled past behind
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and lead it toward their goals of the european future. bbc news, belgrade. >> you are watching "gmt" from bbc world news. it had lines of this hour -- libyan rebels and this central town of ras lanuf face more air strikes. one report says tanks are moving in. the red cross says libya is now in a civil war. it has called for access to the wounded and for humane treatment of noncombatants. >> time now for the business news. look, and i heard the same thing 25 months in a row, i would be very depressed. >> we are talking about interest. 25 months in a row as where they remained. but i am sure in the committee that makes of their decision, it must be more and more of a struggle. we just heard in the past few minutes the bank of england kept interest rates on hold at the
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historic low of half a percent. but inflation, it is a real threat. consumer price inflation is currently running at four percent, double the bank's target of 2%. and as oil prices hit new highs, no sign of it coming down. it seems to be a case of not if but when the monetary committee will decide to raise rates, with smart money is it coming as soon as may. the concern is will the u.k. economy and its fragile state actually be able to handle a rate rise? when it comes, neville hill, an economic expert at swiss says it can. >> other indicators that would tell you are in or close to a recession like tax receipts, and and one in jobless claims, we have not seen any of that and all of the evidence including the manufacturing numbers suggest the economy will rebound quite sharply in the first quarter. looks like but economy is growing quickly and strongly and can withstand what would be very modest increases in interest
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rates from extremely low levels. >> let's move on. the film about the company may have lost out in oscar's but when it comes to cash, facebook cannot be beaten. six founders and investors feature on the new "forbes" rich list. more than 1000 200 billion there's in the world. >> it is a select but growing club. there are now more billionaires in the world than ever before. but where those fortunes are made is changing. according to steve forbes. >> of brazil, a 18 billionaire'' last year. 30 billionaires' this year. russia, 62 billionaires' last year, 101 billionaires' this year. china, 69 billionaires last year, 115 this year. >> yes, the u.s. still has the most, 413 this year, but america is being outpaced by the so- called be are right -- bric
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countries and age it is roaring ahead with 332 rich people, even more than europe. one out of three of the world's rich as the individuals comes from the united states, and they are doing much better than the average american. their wealth went up by 30% in a year. but america as a whole is losing out to a faster growing countries that are churning out billionaires' even more quickly. the richest man in the world is still mexico's carlos slim, the telecom tycoon is worth $74 billion. he has widened his lead over microsoft's bill gates and investor warren buffett. s tend to be in their 60's, but there are young ones, too, -- of facebook. should the rest of us care about the super rich? mr. forbes says yes. >> the super wealthy of the people, almost all of them have
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created that wealth, which means they are creating vibrant businesses that provide growth for everyone else. >> enterprising billionaires' may help the economy everywhere, but you are most likely to meet a billionaire in moscow and make a billion in asia. >> brings a tear to your eye. for us poor people. a couple more stores making headlines. spain has had its credit rating downgraded once again. the rating agency moody's says it is worried about the country possibility to improve finance. it is a warns of the eventual cost of restructuring spain's base will be much more than the government expects and only add to the debt burden. swung to ade balance surprising deficit in february all as exports slowed. the surprise news caused asian markets to close lower on thursday but it cited the lunar new year as a key factor in keeping exports low because that is where many chinese factories
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close up during the holidays. the market -- what impact in asia. but let us not kid ourselves, also weighed down by the ongoing fighting in libya and those oil prices. also, japan's economy contract in sharper than expected. but let's not kid ourselves. market watchers are telling us the big focus on the market at the moment are the oil prices. u.s. light crude at $104 a barrel and brent crude traded in london at around $115. >> oil price is always in focus. thanks very much. undergoing's army is its biggest test yet. in just a moment president hamid karzai is due to announce the first phase of a security transition from foreign forces to afghan troops. the first that toward a final transition in the year 2014. but many challenges remain. many of the recruits are illiterate. a drug addiction is a problem
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and recruits have just eight weeks of training before they have to face the taliban. these next week's are a vital time for both the army and the hope of a smooth transition. joined from washington by seth jones by the rand corp. who has written extensively on the conflict. advise the general of special operations forces and afghanistan. thank you for joining me. in the last few minutes we have news from a senior government official telling the afp agency that controls and security in four promises -- provinces and three cities will be handed to afghan forces from july. you just returned from afghanistan. you think these forces are ready to take over? >> i don't think they are ready to take over in all areas. if some of the most dangerous provinces like candy bar and held land -- hellman's -- kandhar and helmand clearly not
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be able to take on by their own. some are much more benign and face much less of a threat from the taliban and allied forces. one of the issues is which provinces are most appropriate for transition. >> much of the issues is how you do in the ethnic makeup of the forces. i understand there is difficulty recruiting past two -- pashtun in the southern provinces. >> in the afghan national army, the percentage ofpashtun 40%. there has not been a real consensus and afghanistan and 30 or 40 years, but it is generally understood that about 50% or more afghans are pashtun. the issue is where some of those pashtun security forces are
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being made up, though, it tends to be in some of the local community what forces in rural areas, including the afghan local police programs. while the number of pahtuns in the army is probably too low, they are being made up by larger numbers in the rural areas. >> i want to take advantage of your knowledge of the area. explain to me also about the leadership positions in the army. >> we have a number of tajiks and uzbeks and a number of ha zars as well and army. one of the concerns about those individuals in what is largely a pashtun war, are serious concerns about their ethnic dimension. when you have tajik or uzbaek commanders and a pashtun area,
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there have been challenges as locals of viewing them as foreigners -- not as pashtuns or any of the tribes in the area. part of the problem with the army in pashtun area with tajik or uzbek commanders is getting the ethnic balance right or making it up with community watch forces on the ground. >> seth jones, thank you very much. you can track a bbc special feature -- eight weeks to base the taliban, tracking the transition of the afghan armed forces, just ahead. you can attend to the website. he confined out with the recruits are, why they joined and what they think about the challenges they face as members of the afghan national army. once the training and see what it is really like in an afghan training camp. all of that that is almost it for this edition of "gmt."
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goodbye. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click-to-play video reports. go to to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank.
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>> union bank has put its rae ide wng of a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet los ange
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